What does an Alumni Gathering look like?
Alumni Gatherings have ranged from retreats to simple get-togethers for drinks. They can be hosted at a home or a public space. They can be informational, like a workshop or speaker, or they can be celebrative, like a book signing or a reading. Alumni Gatherings can be created specifically to get alumni together, or they can piggyback off of other events, like literary festivals or movie openings.
Ideas from Homecoming Brainstorming Sessions about Alumni Gatherings:
- Writing Field Trips to local tourist destinations
- Event oriented gatherings to attend a play, movie, performance, or readng
- Interrelatedness of the Arts gatherings. Alumni could attend performances or museums together.
- Potluck at a local alum’s home.
- Piggyback on book launches.
- Create events that coincide with literary events in the area. For example, organizing a dinner during a conference or festival.
Who Can Come to Alumni Gatherings?
Alumni, friends and family of alumni, current students and their friends and families, prospective students, and in some cases, the general public.
We seek to be as inclusive as possible. The purpose of Alumni Gatherings is to help alumni stay connected to their writing and to each other. In some cases, the general public is invited. For one event, the venue was free if it were open to the public, so that event was open to all. All Alumni Gatherings must all be open to alumni, current students, and prospective students.
There’s a Spalding Faculty member who lives in my Hub area, or whom I’d like to fly in for my event. Can I ask her/him to be a speaker?
We love to involve Spalding faculty in our Alumni Gatherings, but the M.F.A. program has asked us not to approach faculty directly about speaking at Alumni Gatherings. Put your idea into the Alumni Gathering Proposal, and we will contact the faculty member about her/his interest.
How Much Does an Alumni Gathering Cost?
It depends on the event. The first step is to consider what you want at the Alumni Gathering and work out a budget.
Does the M.F.A. Program help with costs?
Sometimes. When an event needs financial help, depending on the current year’s budget, the M.F.A. program might be able to help out. Our goal in such cases is always to pay the program back if the Alumni Gathering makes enough money to do so.
We’ve unfortunately had events that lost money, so we want to encourage Alumni Gathering planners to budget carefully so as not to extend themselves beyond their own comfort level. Ideally, an Alumni Gathering will pay for itself through a fee charged to participants. For a step-by-step guide to planning and budgeting an Alumni Gathering, click here.